Pisces Full Moon

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Jellyfish washed up on Smiths Beach

The Full Moon Eclipse in Pisces conjunct Chiron occurs on Saturday the 17th of September at 3.06am (AWST). Pisces ~ the Fishes ~ submerged beneath the waves of a sea of consciousness~god~source ~spirit~anima mundi or, as Jung put it, the collective unconscious ~ that which eludes our rationalist scientific modern-world perception. A potentially healing Full Moon, adorned with opportunity and fraught with dangers ranging from penetrating clarity and fearless moments of awakening and release to violent rage and damaging loss of self.

Neptune is the planetary ruler of this Full Moon, and too in the sign of Pisces. Within us all exists the Pisces~Neptune archetype, and so there is a part of each one of us that yearns to return to Source, to become One With All That Is, to escape the limiting concrete reality in all its Saturnian rigidity, connecting to something bigger than ourselves. So often, in this secular society, we find our Oneness in escapism. To dull the separation anxiety suffered as a result of our disconnection from spirit, we anaesthetise ourselves with various substances, distractions and indulgences.

Neptune is a prominent energy throughout 2016, and this Full Moon Eclipse highlights the pertinent manifestations for our consideration and integration. Importantly, Neptune is conjunct the Lunar South Node in Pisces, lending an ethereal vibe to our retrospective view of the past. As we look back we might be tempted to don rose-tinted glasses, perceiving times gone by as something they were not. Fundamentally, with the South Node we consider the low-road options in depth as they represent our unconscious~default tendencies. With Neptune, we know these are slippery and tempting, as they offer escape from the pain of our reality, but at such great cost.

Cue the eternal realist Saturn (square Neptune and the Lunar Nodes) persistently pushing us to see things clearly. To look back with less nostalgia and more equanimity, less delusion and more compassion, less blame and more forgiveness ~ allows us to go forward with more purpose, clarity, courage, power, maturity, wisdom, strength…

Chiron, the Wounded Healer, and his presence in (conjunction with the Full Moon in) Pisces invites us to heal our spiritual wounds. This process is painful. The challenges are many. The more we uncover, the more there is to uncover. But far from it being licence to moan, resigned to our lot in life, it is this work that will lead us to our healing, our truth, our bright future, and our own personal god experience.

Chiron’s movement through the zodiac explicates our best medicine for the moment, lest we become embroiled in our own tragedy. Pisces medicine unequivocally equates to spirituality. In true homeopathic style, the source of our pain contains the remedy to our ills. Our collective road to healing is one that leads us closer to the divine dance, wherein we are simultaneously honoured + honouring ~ creation + creator. Our source of spiritual nourishment needn’t be religious in nature, but certainly requires us to find the sacred in life, and humility enough to show reverence for it.

At the apex of a T-square between the Sun~Mercury in Virgo and the Moon~Chiron in Pisces is Mars in Sagittarius. Having moved on from the post-retrograde conjunction with Saturn ~ courage of our convictions ~ Mars now picks up the pace heading for Capricorn. First though, his augmentation of this Eclipse adds an aggressive dimension to this somewhat yin~centripetal lunation. Its a juggle! As we inwardly try to manage the strong mutable energies we feel confused, perplexed, bewildered. With Mars in such a position of power, we can shoot off at the mouth ~ shoot from the hip as our anxiety gets the better of us. Rather, defuse Martial agitation with benign physicality ~ adventure ~ new horizons ~ fresh perspective in the fresh air ~ nature

Adding further unpredictability to the mix is Uranus+Eris in Aries trine Mars. Eris is the “newest” trans-Neptunian dwarf planet, named after the goddess of discord. Displeased at having been excluded from an Olympic wedding, shit-stirrer Eris cast an apple scribed with “to the fairest” at the feet of three chatting party guests ~ Pallas Athene, Aphrodite and Hera ~ invoking discord as each goddess naturally believed herself to be the fairest. Zeus delegated the responsibility of settling the quarrel to Prince Paris of Troy, who eventually (having secured the rights to Helen the most beautiful woman in the world) chose the corrupt Aphrodite.

The addition of Uranus and Eris to Mars’ already belligerent influence leads one to believe we might expect a certain amount of unpredictable discord in our lives presently. But Eris’ influence is one that, despite her reputation, belies some benefits when we do it right. While she is renowned for revelling in the suffering of others she aint all bad. And as always, we cannot merely reject these troublesome parts of ourselves, we must work to find a way to consciously express them. Discord isn’t always unwarranted. And competition isn’t inherently bad. At its best it inspires greatness, diversity and creativity.

So, at the culmination of this eclipse season, may we each find our high-road leading us to a future that nurtures our soul’s evolutionary intent. Keep the faith, if we build it, well you know 🙂 Once more, I borrow from Michael Leunig…

“God bless the lost, the confused, the unsure, the bewildered, the puzzled, the mystified, the baffled, and the perplexed. Amen.”

Jupiter departing Virgo ~ to arrive Libra

Jupiter’s passage through the sign of Virgo comes to an end tonight as the jovial King of the Gods moves into Libra until the 10th of October 2017. This past 13 months has offered many meaningful lessons from the Virgo archetype including discernment + discrimination, service + contribution, humility + perfectionism, crisis + choice, health + healing, method + practice, attention to detail + conscientiousness, analysis + appraisal of self.

The transitional archetype of Virgo allows us to dismantle and examine our fundamental creative urge, tempering our Leonine self-expressive impulse with an attitude of giving ~ noblesse oblige.  Armed now with such understandings we embark upon an expansive new phase of engagement with others. The coming year will bring bountiful Libran harvest to the extent that we can yield to Jupiter’s optimistic influence and buoyant enthusiasm.

Jupiter warrants a warning: overconfidence can be awkward, regrettable, even dangerous. Many errors in judgement occur under the benevolent guidance of Jupiter. However, it is also the boldness of Jupiter that motivates us to pursue and achieve dreams others might dismiss as impossible ~ ridiculous ~ foolhardy ~ those of us too afraid to follow Jupiter’s road less travelled are then required to reflect upon a life half lived, and that torturous too-late question

what if…?

Libra is the sign of balance ~ the act of harmonising, a dynamic and ongoing process of adjustment. This phase invites us to expand our balancing abilities, learning about our dual natures as we relate to others, seeking commonality with our fellows rather than concentrating our energy upon the ways in which we differ. We engage open-mindedly with alternate perspectives that broaden our own views, while remaining true to our own crystallising personal beliefs, allowing for the adaptation that evolves a species.

We don’t necessarily have to agree, or limit our connection-cultivation to those like-minded few. We seek instead to be open, nurturing our loving hearts, and building bridges of compassion and empathy. By its nature, to truly connect with others is to expand the self, and so Jupiter in Libra nourishes this growth via cooperation.

Libra’s low-road is recognisable by excessive people-pleasing tendencies, and a compulsive yearning for approval. To be constantly distracted by concern for what others are thinking is to be out of alignment with one’s own rhythms and inner balance. We lose sight of our own authentic path. This year will be a time of enriching our own inner equilibrium too ~ we learn what we require to maintain personal homeostasis.

The true Libran aim is justice ~ fairness and equality, and compromise can be key to this outcome, but to sell oneself short as a peacekeeping measure is a delusion (“peace at any price is no peace at all” Eve Curie). Too, Libra can err and demur endlessly in ambivalence that renders it inert and impotent. Jupiter’s benevolent attention can easily be dissipated by over-indulgence in effortless good times.

Jupiter’s trip through Libra will see it aspect slow moving change gods Uranus+Pluto. Jupiter effectively enhances all he comes into contact with (think King Midas’ golden touch) and so we can anticipate further intensification of these (personal & global) revolutionary times. Manifestation of the energies always depends upon our consciousness ~ the more aware we become of our karma the more empowered we are.

Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn have been in a 90° square since 2012. This Uranus~Pluto cycle began during the swinging sixties (exact ’65-’66) at the Virgo conjunction, heralding the beginning of the so-called New Age. Since then (as the conjunction separated and then the square formed) the Earthly tumult can be attributed to the dynamism between these two intense archetypal forces, and the ways in which we have channelled them.

We need only switch on the news to find sufficient illustration of the prevalent energies and manifest themes ~ war, poverty, violence, oppression, struggle abounds ~ and the potential for Jupiter to  amplify this negativity exists of course. But to recognise also that this apparently low-road global manifestation of the archetypal vibes is a reflection of the current collective consciousness. Jupiter adds faith and optimism to this mix, and its movement through Libra inspires diplomatic conflict resolution. Jupiter will first square Pluto in late November and then again in March and August 2017; the opposition to Uranus will occur in late December, then again in March and September 2017.

So, we’ve clearly got some work to do! And Jupiter through Libra is perfect for the job! As we become more conscious in our own individual lives we contribute to the collective awakening, and Jupiter’s time in Libra enhances this with the potential for real connections being formed between increasingly conscious people. As we come to recognise the limitations inherent in solitude, and embrace the realities of modern life (making good use of  the world wide web and social media, for example) we can welcome the opportunities to embrace interdependence.

There are over seven billion of us on this planet. We are intrinsically social creatures ~ wired for connection. While we may be able to function satisfactorily solo, Jupiter in Libra urges us to make efforts to build “real-ationships” with others ~

2009_0104christmas08ny090144finding ways to connect

authentically

wholeheartedly

consciously

We recognise each other as an equally meaningful contributor and integrate the truth

1+1 = >2

Virgo New Moon

Thursday the 1st of September (5.05pm AWST) brings us the Virgo New Moon Eclipse. And such a special one this is: farewell to Jupiter as it transitions into Libra and beyond on its 12 year cycle through the zodiac. Let’s make use of the simple and practical inspiration of Virgo, unearthing the numinous potential in the small things.

The North Node~Moon~Sun conjunction in humble Virgo, in opposition to the South Node+Neptune in dreamy Pisces, and anchored into a T-square by the Mars~Saturn conjunction in spirited Sagittarius. Once again the vibes are highly mutable, so we do well to adopt a flexible and adaptable attitude, welcoming the changes that face us now, and prepared to release the past with grace and an effort to forgiveness and compassion.

Forgiveness is tricky. My experience tells me that it is both a process, as well as the positive result of a process. It comes not through the espousal of ideals that have more to do with who we want to be than who we really are. But, once we have grasped that those who’ve wronged us have done so in ignorance (that is, they haven’t come to know their Divine nature) and are embroiled in the egoic material world traps that kid us into believing we must compete and impose and manipulate and betray in order to advance, we sense true compassion. We create space for empathy in place of the burdensome grievance that keeps us bound in knots of anger, resentment and victim-thinking. For so long as we remain in the grips of a grudge-bearing mentality, there can be no room for forgiveness.

BUT

in order to come to a place of authentic forgiveness (which may be only partial, and is subject to demur and falter and recoil, often repeatedly, before strengthening and deepening), we need to allow ourselves time (within the dark chrysalis) to feel the betrayal and suffering. Not perpetual wallowing in self-pity but accepting and observing the feelings, emotions and sensations that emerge from the pain. Within this we will uncover golden wisdom and transformative truth that helps us to see that our perspective is not the only one, and that, were it not for the actions of the “perpetrator”, we could not’ve come to this moment of metamorphosis that frees us like a butterfly, and empowers us in its alchemy.

We’ve turned the offering of lead into pure gold

~ wisdom ~ strength ~ healing ~ power ~

We understand that none of us is perfect, and it is in our imperfections that we uncover the most liberating and transformative gifts of our lives, including forgiveness. There is only love when we recognise the universal predicament of our human frailty.

The ruler of the New Moon is the now-retrograde Mercury, conjoined with Jupiter at 28° Virgo. In our honouring of this coincident beginning and ending we now pause to consider the gifts offered by Jupiter’s 13-month (since August 2015) journey through Virgo. How have we expanded our sense of service? How have we learned to discriminate in order to better focus upon our mission? How have we healed? Where do we find potential for further development?

One of Virgo’s lessons is that of humility. We come to recognise our own fallibility. We allow it to be seen by others. We drop the performance and come to our knees as we recognise that it is in service we make our specialness sacred. As we forfeit our ego’s limited perceptions of success (personal gain, fame, fortune) we find something of lasting value…

Beautiful virginal painting spied somewhere in the Louvre

our contribution

our fulfilment

our gift

our legacy

 

~ our commonality is our blessed humanity

Mercury Retrograde in Virgo

Between the 31st of August and the 22nd of September 2016 Mercury will retrograde in Virgo. With an attitude of openness and flexibility we may truly and meaningfully benefit from such periodic reflective phases, though they might appear to bring mere delays and diversion.

Virgo teaches us the numinosity of service, and Mercury (the traditional planetary ruler of Virgo) represents our powers of perception. There are many demands upon us in this modern world ~ family, work and social life. Of course it is important to ensure we allow adequate time for Self ~ nourishment of body, mind and soul. However, we might also find replenishment of spirit by broadening our view of contribution, reframing our perspective to source strength and inspiration from the ways in which we serve others.

My own experience as a stay at home mum has been challenging at times as the relentless demands of housewifery/ Cherub Management are many, monotonous and sometimes seem meaningless. With a shift in perspective, learning the Latin origin of the word sacrifice ~ to make sacred ~ I have found a way to view mundane life as grist for the mill of my personal growth and come to truly value my role as wife* and mother.

Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo
Mosaic image in a church in Monte Carlo

My own evolution has occurred as a direct result of this Yin (inward) phase of my life. Had I remained in the Yang (outward) world of career and social orientation I’d have not enjoyed this expansion of my inner life and may never have understood the depth and significance of the sacred feminine. I have come to find joy and satisfaction in embracing and consciously cultivating my feminine~Mother responsibilities of protector, initiator, nurturer, empowerer.

Of course, in considering all the options available we remember that low-road Virgo is hyper-critical, pedantic with myriad OCD-tendencies. This Mercury retrograde holds the potential for these few weeks to degenerate into a period of irritable nit-picking, and frustrated attempts to get things done and court that unattainable mistress Perfection.

We can make excellent use of this time and energy by reconsidering our methods, habits, practices, patterns, paying homage to the devil in the details, crossing T’s and dotting lower case j’s, without becoming excessively harsh in our appraisals of self and others.

Too, Mercury’s retrograde will retrace the steps taken by Jupiter since October 2015. The cosmos now offers messages of Divine import that consolidate the benefits and healing brought about by Jupiter’s journey through Virgo. We can now come to understand the deeper meaning of this phase of the 12-year Jupiterian cycle. The Lunar North Node remains in Virgo (until May 2017), thus continuing to build upon the vision (re)imagined under Jupiter’s optimistic influence.

And when Mercury follows Jupiter into Libra on the 8th of October we will be emboldened by this retrograde phase and its offerings as we go forth ever-expansive, evolving, co-creative custodians of this magical earthly home.

*not technically married, but in a solid relationship for almost 16 years.

Mars & Saturn in Sagittarius

Warrior planet Mars conjoined with Saturn this week to add a little verve to our Sagittarius truth-finding mission. As we sharpen our focus and come to clarity in our personal belief systems we are strengthening the foundations upon which we build our future.

High-road Mars energy allows us to access our courage, to act righteously and with restraint, while low-road Mars sees us shooting off at the mouth in offensive bursts of rage and frustration. High-road Saturn supports us in our cultivation of wisdom as we meet our earthly obligations and take responsibility for this gift that is our life. Low-road Saturn keeps us duty-bound, perpetually towing the line and selling ourselves short #allworkandnoplay

This week’s Mars~Saturn fusion in Sagittarius has finally crystallised in its meaning for me. It was worth the wait to feel this emerge from within~without

The courage of our convictions! Can we live in alignment with our own truth as it emerges? Are we brave enough to persist on this lonely Saturnian path despite all the naysayers and discouragement? Will we blaze this trail with humility, grace and good humour? I, for one, will try.

As always, it is a matter of free will. Where we allow the energy to flow is what we allow to grow, in our consciousness and in our lives (as outer manifestation of our inner consciousness) thus if the Mars~Saturn conjunction is expressed stressfully we will experience challenging limitation and imposed resistance. Where we are able to surrender to this blockage and adapt to it we grow and strengthen, but if we resist resistance we will suffer.

April 2018 will see the next Mars~Saturn conjunction (in Capricorn) when we will begin to reap what we sow now, with the courage of Mars and the wisdom and patience of Saturn.

The exact conjunction occurred at 9° Sagittarius, setting the tone for this new Mars~Saturn cycle is the Sabian Symbol a golden haired goddess of opportunity and its meaning (as interpreted by Diana E. Roche) reads:

“This symbol speaks to the rewards guaranteed to the individual who is independent, self-reliant and willing to work hard for what he wants. The image of a golden-haired goddess of opportunity alludes to the the individual who follows his own dreams, creates his own good fortune, and refuses to prejudge a situation or accept anything at face value… Implicit in this symbol is the principle that every organism possesses the secret of its own survival, and that self-knowledge is the ultimate key to success. Be willing to continue in a course you know is right for you, even if you have to go it alone. Don’t lose enthusiasm or abandon your goals just because you aren’t continually receiving a pat on the back.” p.284 (1998)

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May we each be blessed with the bravery of Mars and the determination of Saturn in pursuit of our Sagittarian quest for meaning.

Let us journey on friends ♥

Aquarius Full Moon (hero vs villain)

2006_0613karlsphotography0097_editedThursday the 18th of August 2016 (5.30pm AWST) sees our annual Aquarius Full Moon reach its peak. Aquarius is the archetypal genius~rebel~ outlaw ~revolutionary~ exile ~mad scientist with a high road that leads to innovative reform for the collective good, guided by altruistic  concepts supportive of communities into the future.

Aquarius is the idealistic visionary, without which our humankind would perhaps die of boredom and predictability. Aquarius however is a fixed sign, so despite its urge to break rules and push boundaries there can be a deep-seated and sometimes unconscious adherence to it’s own agenda. In other words, Aquarius can be as dogmatic as it’s traditional ruler Saturn, stuck fast to rigid opinions and abstract perspectives that may be accurate but lack flexibility, empathy and feeling.

Aquarius says “I know”

We can see this Full Moon manifesting in the Rio Olympics: Bolt the Leo Hero vs Gatlin the Aquarian Outlaw. First, my disclaimer: I know nothing of sport or doping in sport and my comments come from a purely emotional and intuitive place within me.

Usain Bolt: Hero of the People versus Justin Gatlin: Villain.

I was stunned by the crowd’s booing this competitor. Granted, I know nothing of his record, prior convictions and past behaviours except what commentators said in the lead up to the Olympic 100m sprint final. My emotive defence of the underdog probably won’t hold up to scrutiny in terms of logic and facts, I concede this.

But I presume that Gatlin must’ve been tested rigorously in order to qualify? And given this, he must surely be afforded the right to redeem himself.

We all make mistakes.

Especially when we are young.

I feel such compassion for those who endure the consequences of their actions in the full view of the unforgiving public. This egoic urge to condemn others for their mistakes, follies and human foibles speaks volumes about the nature of our current planetary predicament. Can we not recall the simple biblical teachings… let he who hath not sinned cast the first stone…

#JudgeNotLestYeBeJudged

So, despite my bored and dismissive response to sport in general, I felt joy in the result of the race. And this morning I happened to catch the medal ceremony and I was filled with pride and brimming with tears as these two young men took to the podium. Their determination lights the way for troubled young men people who might witness these feats and so aspire to great things.

And while I wish not to detract anything from Usain Bolt, for he is truly a hero (and my brief perusal of his natal chart indicates to me that he is blazing a bright and courageous trail towards his Aries North Node with total Leonine grace and natural performance) and deserves to be celebrated, I’d like also to honour Justin Gatlin for his bravery in returning to the arena despite the boos and hisses of fools who’ve not understood their own human frailty.

His willingness to show up, push boundaries and prove himself demonstrates courage for its vulnerability and I hope that he receives much support and celebration too. He teaches that even though we make mistakes there is room to hope, for redemption, dignity, forgiveness and even pride.

#rantover

The Aquarius Full Moon is in close harmonious aspect to planetary ruler Uranus the Awakener. This is a restless and excitable moon with potential for unexpected and radical developments. We stand to gain from sudden flashes of insight and the emergence of surprising and inspiring new ideas. As always, we are better off allowing the energy to flow and to work with that dynamic, than to resist and attempt to control.

Some things we don’t quite know 🙂

Leo New Moon

Lola with the Leo New Moon
Lola with her Leo New Moon

Wednesday the 3rd of August bears the gift of a New Moon in Leo… Regal, inclusive, generous, fun and warm, Leo contains our inner performance, the part of us that craves an adoring audience, applause, bouquets, standing ovations…

Low-road Leo evokes desperate neediness, relentless demands for appreciation and the royal treatment, and petulant poutiness and dramatic displays of dissatisfaction when these ceaseless expectations aren’t met.

But a high-road Leo energy is fabulous marvellous glorious, warm and encouraging like the Sun’s rays. Where we embrace the part of our psyche that gratefully accepts appreciation we each become a little more special. We are nurturing the small child within that might not have enjoyed the spoils of undivided parental adoration.

This New Moon is in square aspect to Black Moon Lilith in Scorpio, trine Saturn in Sagittarius and quincunx the Neptune~South Node conjunction in Pisces.

Black Moon Lilith’s continuing journey through Scorpio is a reminder to us all of the dark feminine that dwells deep within our consciousness. So often this energy appears dormant, a latency that holds power and self-assuredness. When we are able to integrate this strength we become less needy, expressing ourselves without an inbuilt need for kudos and praise.

Saturn demands our integrity, a willingness to accept personal responsibility for our own consciousness and the ways in which we allow it to manifest. While Leo’s need to perform is valid, Saturn reminds us that we must aim to do so with dignity and poise. As the Moon is New we might re-commit to our self-expression in ways that honour our personal need for attention with mindful respect for others.

Within the Leo New Moon’s uneasy aspect to the Lunar South Node~Neptune conjunction we encounter an inner propensity to look back with nostalgic rose-tinted glasses. Whilst an ability to find gratitude, compassion and forgiveness in retrospect can be liberating, healing and transformational, we must be aware of the dangers of repetitive behaviours that damage us. The South Node describes a past that has hurt us, and our consciousness now benefits from awareness of low-road Piscean urges (escapism in all its forms).

As we greet the new Moon cycle we invite our Inner Child to revel in creative expression. Conjure a future that stirs your soul. Even if it is a mere daydream, a cloudy image in your mind’s eye, as the Moon renews this month indulge your joyful Self, grant yourself permission to imagine, play and create with abandon, just for fun…

Saturn square Neptune

The 270° square between Saturn in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces (both currently retrograde) has been in play since late 2015. As one of the dominant astrological themes of 2016 it deserves its own post.

Saturn is the wise elder of our solar system ~ paternal pragmatic mature responsible ~ he brings a dose of reality to whatsoever he contacts, setting boundaries, limits and slowing things down. It can be quite abrupt and even depressing as we come to terms with the Saturnian facts.

Neptune is the mystic ~ dreamy spiritual elusive transcendental ~ it’s subtle vibration often goes unnoticed as we are so busy with our “real world” concerns. But without Neptune life is lacking. We humans are connected to our spirit source, and something in us knows it = Neptune

When these two vastly different planetary influences meet this way, the energy is palpable. The square aspect brings friction and agitation regardless of the players involved. In this case the two signs involved are mutable (adaptable and comfortable with change), but Sagittarius is Yang fire and Pisces is Yin water. Sag wants freedom to explore understand expand and philosophise, while Pisces yearns to return to oneness, connecting with something larger than itself.

The distinctions are important, providing balance when the contact is made. Neptune knows no bounds ~ it can be chaotic lawless and anarchic. By contrast, Saturn is boundaries ~ limiting and restrained. Saturn’s realism and structure will temper Neptune’s fantastical visions and daydreams, helping us to bring them closer to manifestation. Saturn reminds us of the need to work ~ show up and make real tangible effort in pursuit of the heights that Neptune inspires.

Aspects are always seeking integration ~ as two planets come into contact we on Earth experience conflicting yearnings and can make effort to assimilate these in creative ways. Can we amalgamate chaos with order?

Inner work and spiritual practice are meaningful ways that we can make use of this moving square. Neptune represents spirituality and the unconscious, while Saturn symbolises work and practice ~ walking our talk.

Where we are unable or unwilling to consciously assimilate these energies we might find ourselves waking with a hangover, perhaps in both the metaphorical and the all-too-real-world head-thumping sense. As we mindlessly ramble on down Neptune’s slippery and treacherous low-road, allowing ourselves to be tempted time and again by the urge to temporarily escape reality, this year’s astroscape points to the folly of persistently choosing this well-worn path, strewn with lost shoes (glass slippers?), beer bottles, littered ciggie butts and polaroids of long-forgotten moments once considered unforgettable.

I wish not to be a killjoy. A well-lived and happy life must surely be filled with joy, laughter, good friends, and be punctuated with celebratory indulgence. But we cannot fool ourselves forever that such indulgences are necessary on the first Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday et al of each week, can we? And how much joy do we really find in these chemical-fuelled moments? Do the inevitable consequences feel disproportionate to the pleasures we sought the night before? How long can we claim debaucherous shenanigans to be an immersion in illuminating new experiences?

Twenty-sixteen poses these uncomfortable questions.

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Can we allow the well-lit clearly sign-posted boundaries of Saturn to guide our return to more authentic and transcendent Neptunian destinies?

Saturn in Sagittarius implores us to seek our own truth. For most of us, that truth cannot be found at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, or in the smokey blur of stoner-dom, or in the disturbingly repetitious thoughts of a meth habit. The truth is that we use drugs to change the ways think feel and behave.  But frequent drug use creates many more problems than it can ever solve.

To every thing there is a season. I am not arguing for nanny-state laws of prohibition, or self-imposed blanket bans that lead us away from whole-hearted living. We are human beings, blessed with conscious minds with which we are able to make discerning choices. There are certainly moments in life where a given substance can enhance an experience. But the key is to make decisions guided by an inner compass oriented toward our highest good. To weigh our options mindfully, then accept the consequences.

Just as Saturn aims to balance Neptune, Neptune seeks to inspire the stoic straight-laced Saturn ~ urging us to find commonality with our fellows, to develop compassion, to go with the flow and enjoy the moments in life that are all so fleeting.  Neptune reminds us to nourish the part of us that knows we are connected to something greater than ourselves. Inviting us inwards, to the silent still portal of divine experience. Measures of Saturnian success and status have no place here.

I have noticed that sometimes, among communities of spiritual people egos run rampant in ways that eclipse more traditional egoic arenas, such as perhaps the business world, medicine or show biz. It seems that the more time one spends devoted to practices intended to evolve consciousness but that are depleted in their value by their use as a tool of ego enhancement, the more points one is awarded in some spiritualist prizefight. To maintain an appearance of detachment in the face of life’s most challenging emotional upheavals is valued above authenticity and vulnerability. This feels to me to be another misled manifestation of the Saturn Neptune square. The application of Saturn’s ego boundaries to Neptune’s realm of mystery.

Saturn always demands integrity. Neptune inspires communion with the divine. No one can know the inner life of another. Despite low-road Saturn in Sagittarius’ insistent sermonising, God is not some abstract dogmatic conceptual doctrine found exclusively within the walls of a cathedral, ashram, chapel, synagogue or mosque. God is alive, dynamic, evolving, omnipresent, experiential, infinite love, found in the hearts of the incarcerated and indoctrinated alike, in badly lit shopping malls and magnificent sweeping landscapes…

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View from atop Sacre Coeur, Montmartre

In everyone

and everything

every atom of this expanding universe

Saturn+Neptune ~ one without the other and we are lost, either in the grey board room of conformity, or the technicolour haze of delusion

Capricorn Full Moon

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Shot Tower, in the rain. Taroona, near Hobart, Tasmania

The Full Moon in Capricorn occurs at 6.57am (AWST) on Wednesday the 20th of July. Capricorn the Sea~Goat symbolises responsibility, duty, maturity, discipline, wisdom and limitations. A cardinal earth sign, Capricorn initiates efforts towards the creation of material security.

At the opposing end of this axis is Cancer ~ the archetypal Mother; Capricorn is the archetypal Father ~ paternal reliable consistent firm sometimes a little rigid but seeking to guide us towards success status stability. Capricorn’s orderly approach supports us in the establishment of solid foundations upon which we may build a future that aligns with our high ideals.

The planetary ruler of this Capricorn lunation is Saturn, which remains in square aspect to Neptune, the Lunar Nodes and Jupiter. As we aspire and work towards our dreams, or process moments~times~events passed, Saturn patiently, persistently reminds us of our boundaries. Regardless of our attitude towards them, we must work within these limits. And for so long as we shirk our responsibilities we will not get far. Saturn insists upon integrity and accountability.

As this Full Moon light is reflected upon us all we find illuminated the duties we had overlooked. Are we stubbornly resisting lessons that implore us to bow in humility? Are we getting in our own way? On closer inspection can we accept more personal responsibility for the roles we play in life’s challenges and dysfunction?

In so doing, we are empowered, as we can truly change none other than ourselves. And as we recognise ways in which we have contributed to our own defeats, we find ways that we can do-over, more effective than before.

Sometimes life slows us down, and we feel stifled and frustrated, wondering whether we’ve chosen the wrong path or kidded ourselves in some way. The intensity of the Mars retrograde (coincident with five other planets in their retrograde phases also ~ AKA retrograde season) has left many of us feeling defeated and doubtful but as Mars’ direct motion picks up speed this Full Moon will assist us to see things that were invisible before this slowing down phase.

The delays that appeared to be mere inconvenient setbacks and impediments later prove to serve us well. When we take what we’ve learned in reflection we improve our attitude and our perspective is renewed, with more wisdom and confidence we now go forth.

This Full Moon also aspects Uranus the Awakener. Known for its disruptive and unpredictable influence (so different to Saturn), we can expect the unexpected. Uranus in turn aspects Mars in an uncomfortable but potentially rewarding interaction. For best results, we might channel this volatility into movement and creativity, lest we allow the energy to manifest unconsciously and impel us into circumstances less positive.

Life rarely unfolds as we expect it to, but always leads us to where we can, if we so choose, benefit in ways we could not have foreseen.

“Instead of what our imagination makes us suppose and which we worthless try to discover, life gives us something that we could hardly imagine” Marcel Proust.

Cancer the Crab New Moon

IMG_4350 The fourth of July heralds the New Moon in Cancer for 2016. Cancer the Crab is ruled by the Moon so it is always a special time ~ the extremes of winter (or summer) are upon us and we embrace all the joys and challenges of the season.

Cancer symbolises the Mother. We have all gestated within our mother’s womb, thus the mother is a strong archetype for each of us. She symbolises comfort home nurturing safety acceptance. The concept of the mother may not be met by our experience of being mothered, nor by our experience of being a mother. There are discrepancies between the fantasy and the reality. None of us is perfect. None of us were raised perfectly. The best we can hope for is more positive than negative memories (a la Disney animated film Inside Out) that result in patterns that support and encourage rather than inhibit and stymie our growth and happiness.

No matter how we have been mothered in our lives we are grown up now. We are responsible now for our own lives and our own feelings and the ways in which we manage these. Cancer teaches us self-containment. Cancer asks that we honour our feelings, to know the wisdom that they bring.

So we don’t hide within a spiky shell behind aggressively defensive pincers, stubbornly refusing to engage with the world lest our soft innards are exposed and injured. Equally we seek not to become overwhelmed by emotion ~ narcissistic nostalgia and a sentimentality that detracts from the deep knowing of feeling

Feeling as a living dynamic experience that can be accessed

in this moment alone

Our feelings differ to our emotions. An emotional response is an activated complex ~ an old patterned reaction to what is really a unique moment in time. Emotion holds meaning and important information too, but in a way that pertains to the past. We can use our emotions to better understand complexes and unconscious unprocessed stuff from our past.

Feelings are now, providing us with a new perception of our individual and dynamic experience of life as it evolves.

As we grow and develop through infancy childhood adolescence we build an understanding of life and our place in it primarily through our experience with family. Despite best efforts and intentions of our caregivers, none come through this process unscathed. To the extent that we have perceived an experience of disapproval or inferiority (or any number of other childhood encumbrances) we unconsciously seek to appease these uneasy emotions into our adult lives.

Sometimes we unwittingly place expectations on others to meet needs that are our responsibility. We are looking to be comforted by the archetypal mother. But as we look to the outside world, to our own mothers even, we will be disappointed. We need to learn to mother ourselves ~ to self-soothe, nurture our own vulnerability, heal the source of and transform our own pain.

Cancer the Crab is soft and sensitive beneath a protective exterior ~ highly attuned to the changes occurring all around ~ the shifts in energy ~ the moods and vibrations ~ and we each have an innate ability to access this subtle feeling-based reality. Far from indulgent wallowing in self-pity, the high-road Crab detects nuances and subtleties with a quiet perceptiveness that lends itself to empathy and wisdom.

With the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus journeying through Cancer we can all practice becoming our own Inner Mother. Lovingly accept the feelings and emotions that emerge, offering space and gentle kindness to allow the deeper wisdom to follow, and follow it will. This New Moon harmonises with the Moon’s Nodal Axis involving Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune, supporting our healing from the past and pursuit of a bright future. As we open ourselves up to the changing times, we are ourselves transforming and creating, a world that so needs the unconditional love of a mother.